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The historic 1927 residence by Carl G. Fisher, which faced Miami Beach’s Intracoastal Waterway, was a setting for what would become a magnificent garden. The house and its surrounding property have fallen into disrepair and needed extensive renovations. The new owners were dedicated to refurbishing the property, wishing to maintain its elegance, yet wanting to create a landscape that would be more suitable for a young, modern family. The clients also wanted the landscape to soften the imposing residence, as its grand scale had become incongruous amongst the smaller homes in the neighborhood. Nievera Williams Design worked in collaboration with architect Michele Bonan on the renovations.

The construction included a guesthouse and a separate building for a garage and staff housing, which made the landscape more challenging. Nievera Williams juxtaposed the strong lines of the house with groves of date palms planted to compliment the scale of the residence, and the curvaceous bronze-colored bark of the native gumbo limbo trees were added along the edge of the driveway to provide a further contrast to the house’s scale. A large banyan tree-brought to the site by barge-greets arriving guests at the front parking court, its large twisting trunk and prehistoric—looking leaves standing prominent against the white house’s formal look. Vistas to the fountain mask the garage building.